Once you’ve created your personal vision in real estate, business plan, and unique value prop, it’s time to get down to brass tacks.
How do you enter the real estate field and develop as a real estate professional? Here’s what you’ll need to do.
1. Get a real estate license.
Obtaining a real estate license is an important first step in your real estate career. The timeline, qualifications, and costs of getting your real estate license are different from state to state, so consult your local real estate bureau to understand what’s required.
Many states require pre-licensing and renewal courses as well. Once you have your license, however, you can legally sell, broker, or rent real estate in the state in which you’ve obtained your license. There’s one caveat here: Most states require you to work with a brokerage for the first two to three years as an agent. So let’s dive into what that means.
2. Find a brokerage.
A real estate brokerage is an agency where real estate agents work. You might choose to work for a national franchise in your area. There are also virtual brokerages popping up around the internet, so do a little digging and find out which option best aligns with your goals.
Consider company culture, commission structure, and possible mentorships when you’re selecting a brokerage. Choose where you’d feel you’d thrive, be fairly compensated, and be able to learn from skilled people.
3. Join the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Want to call yourself a REALTOR®? Until you join the National Association of Realtors, you can’t. A NAR membership will also earn you access to the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) where you’ll be able to search through all of the listings in the network.
4. Pay your dues.
Don’t expect to get your license, join a brokerage, and start selling million-dollar homes. New real estate agents need to know that building a business takes time, hard work, and effort. To build a sustainable career in real estate, they need to be willing to put in the elbow grease to build an audience and database of contacts. Then they need to learn how to work it, provide value, and be consistent.”
Prepare to up your sleeves, do the hard work networking and supporting more seasoned realtors for a few years, and don’t expect to be bringing in the big bucks right away.
5. Find a mentor.
Learn from those around you. Is there someone in your brokerage who specializes in FSBOs or has a knack for running Facebook ads? Schedule time to grab coffee with them once a month, see if you can shadow them for a day, or offer to help with a project they’re spearheading.
Spend time and build relationships with people who are good at the things you’d like to be good at. It will pay dividends in the years to come.
6. Get crystal clear on who your ideal customer is.
Working with first-time homebuyers is vastly different than working with retirees who are downsizing into an active-adult community. Both of those groups are different from second-chance homebuyers who are entering the market again after recovering from foreclosure.
Not only does each of these subsets require different considerations and industry knowledge, but they’re also different audiences. This means they do not share the same needs, concerns, or goals.
If you want to resonate with prospects, you must understand their pains, problems, desires, and triumphs. The first step toward doing that is to create a buyer persona.
This exercise can lead to information and perspective that will inform your marketing efforts, your messaging, and even how you present your personal brand.
7. Build your personal brand.
One thing that seasoned real estate agents know to be true is that real estate is a lead generation business. You should always be building your personal brand and expanding your network.
You can do this by building a personal real estate website outside of the one you have on your brokerage’s site. Create a social media presence for your professional brand. And host happy hours and networking events that will get your name out in the community.